There are going to be major changes in the Intelsat sats relevant to NZ in the next couple months.
Intelsat 19 was launched on June 1 and it has now finished its in-orbit testing and is drifting to its new position at 166 degrees East. It did have problems with unfurling a solar array so it won’t be working at full design strength, but Intelsat have announced it will be beginning service in mid-August. 166 degrees East is where Intelsat-8 is now.
I-19 will be available on small dishes for Ku-Band services and NZ will be under the ANZ beam. If I-8 Ku-band services currently on the Australia beam move to I-19 then there will be some more encrypted services available currently unavailable in NZ. If you speak Chinese you might be interested in TVB and there currently is Serbian, Arabic, Russian, Italian and Filipino encrypted channels too. There would also be a few free to air channels in Arabic from Kuwait, Eritrea and South Sudan.
I don’t yet know if Arirang (the only channels on the I-8 NZ beam) is moving to I-19 or moving with the satellite to 169 Degrees East.
This diagram ignores the big dish only Pacific Beam on Intelsat 8, but otherwise tells you what beams are available on Intelsat sats and rough dish sizes to get them, now and after the changes
Intelsat constellation and NZ relevant beams now
Intelsat 5 services will end at the of September. Australia Network is going to both I-19 C-band and I-18 C-band, right circular. Unfortunately both will be harder to receive in New Zealand than now.
Australia Network changes are detailed at http://australianetwork.com/tuning/satellite_pacific_DTH.pdf
I read that BBC News is following suit (I-18 or I-19 or both?) but will begin an HD DVB-S2 service. BBC News will be on Igloo in SD soon too, if you miss it and want to pay for it.
If you do manage to get the right circular C-band signal off I-18 then you’ll probably need a larger dish than you could currently get it on I-5 on. Getting the circular signal on a linear LNB with the use of a dielectric plate will drop signal strength 3 dB so it might involve getting a new special circular LNB to keep your current dish. (I’m interested in news of anyone getting signals and how you’ve got it, especially if anyone gets it in NZ down to a 1.2m dish size (I’m hoping))
The new constellation will look like this:
Intelsat constellation and NZ relevant beams post August & September changes
So the story is that if you currently get Arirang on I-8, you may not have to do anything to your dish to keep getting it on I-19 (and get some bonus Arabic channels), or you may have to move it to point to 169E.
And if you currently get Australia Network and the BBC on I-5 you may lose out, or you may spend some dollars, time and effort chasing them to either I-19 or I-18.
Hopefully it will be the last changes for a while. I-8 is not due to be decommissioned til 2019. I-18 and I-19 are meant to be after that.
Or we could be pleasantly surprised with new FTA channels on I-19 that we don’t yet anticipate. Or the signal strength on the C-band I-8 signals could be stronger after the move. Who knows?